Pastry chef Maggie Huff is practical when it comes to produce: When tomatoes are at their peak at the height of summer, she takes advantage of their sweetness in her artistic desserts at FT33 in Dallas, chef Matt McCallister’s modern American flagship. When McCallister, a 2014 F&W Best New Chef, opens his more casual, Southern-inflected restaurant Filament this fall, she’ll be turning out her takes on classic American desserts like cobblers, crisps, pies, and layer cakes. Here, she shares five easy ways to channel an overproducing garden into simple, delicious summer desserts.
1. Toss tomatoes into fruit salads. Grape and cherry tomatoes are sweet to begin with, so halving and tossing them with strawberries, other berries and a light poppy-seed dressing is a delicious no-brainer.
2. Prep pie with both fruit and tomatoes. Substitute sliced tomatoes for ¼ of the fruit in a pie or crisp, particularly one made with stone fruits like nectarines or peaches. Some of my favorite tomato varieties to use are Sun Gold, Sweet 100 and Red Currant, but any sweet, not overly acidic tomato will do fine.